An innovative robotic system to rapidly
sterilize passenger aircrafts using powerful UV light technology is being
tested by leading Israeli aerospace and defense firm Israel
Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Widely used to purify water, Lod-headquartered
IAI has adapted UV-C (short-wavelength ultraviolet) technology in recent weeks
to successfully disinfect coronavirus facilities at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical
Center (Ichilov) and Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center.
Now, engineers at IAI's aviation division are
adapting the technology for the efficient and autonomous sterilization of
passenger aircraft between flights, boosting airline efforts to restart
operations in a safe and clean manner.
The UV-C technology is based on electromagnetic
radiation emitted with a wavelength of 254 nanometers – a frequency that kills
all germs and viruses and is more effective than traditional chemical cleaning
for cabin surfaces.
"Our system consists of a robotic system
that operates autonomously inside the airplane," said Avi, the IAI
aviation division project leader, whose surname cannot be disclosed for
security reasons. "We can give the robot a plan of the airplane or any
large space, and the system will operate automatically."
The system is being tested on an aircraft that
is currently being modified by IAI engineers in the company's facilities, Avi
said. The system has proved to be faster than traditional interior cabin
cleaning and sterilizes everything in the proximity of the system, including
aircraft seat upholstery and other fabrics.
"The usual cleaning solutions require a
lot of time, and involve chemicals, water and liquids. Passengers cannot board
the airplane until it has dried out," said Avi, adding that the system is
"much more affordable" than existing cleaning methods. "When you
use this system, you can immediately board passengers after completing the
Adapting the system for mobile use within
aircraft has not been without its challenges. Deploying the technology requires
regulatory approval from aviation authorities, the addition of a powerful
in-built AC power system, and the ability to navigate between the aircraft's
"The system can operate very quickly
within an airplane, because the distance from the system to the wall and
ceilings is much smaller than a hospital room," Avi said.
The introduction of effective cabin
sterilization technologies will be key to launching wide-scale operations in
the decimated aviation industry, and to restore public confidence in plane
When Sabrina Grodzinski returns home at the end of a 12-hour
shift in the coronavirus unit at Samson Assuta Ashdod
University Hospital, her three boys run to her for hugs. But they
are quickly reminded that they will have to wait. Mommy needs to shower before
they can touch her in case she has any traces of SARS-CoV-2 on her body or
Grodzinski, an emergency medicine physician currently assigned
to the coronavirus unit at Assuta Ashdod, told The Jerusalem Post that when the hospital informed her in
January that she would work with coronavirus patients it was only theoretical.
The virus outbreak had just started, and she could not envision what this
meant. Now, treating coronavirus patients has become part of her daily
Although Grodzinski said that the hospital currently has enough
personal protective medical equipment, she fears that if the situation
continues much longer Assuta Ashdod could be at the same risk as many others of lacking the supplies
needed to ensure she is safe.
“I don’t have neurosis about the infection, but there are days
that I think, did my mask have a good seal? Or, I shower three times at work
before I come home. For the most part, it is OK, but if God forbid something
happened, I will think, ‘Oh my God, I brought something back to them.”
Just look at the incredible timescale for getting production started.
By Yaakov Lappin, JNS
Israeli defense company Elbit Systems has set up a new production line to make thousands of advanced ventilators for hospitals in recent days.
A senior company source told JNS that the production line at Elbit Systems Land Division in Ramat Hasharon is on track to producing 3,000 ventilators by the end of May.
“We have enough production workers, whom we will place on the new manufacturing line,” said the source.
A little more than three weeks ago, Elbit turned to the Defense Ministry’s Directorate for Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and asked how it could help the national response effort. A few days later, the Defense Ministry put it in touch with entrepreneurs—one of whom who had designed a small, compact ventilator, which the Defense Ministry had eyed years ago as a potential battlefield health system for soldiers.
Two weeks ago, the first two prototypes were produced and presented to an inter-agency coronavirus committee based at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. The committee decided to select the LifeCan One smart automatic ventilator as the most suitable and ripe solution. A little less than a week ago, Elbit received an order for 3,000 systems.
“These machines will enable medical centers to provide initial-stage respiration care to a larger number of patients that suffer from less sever respiration conditions, thereby addressing the acute shortage in ventilators,” Elbit said in a statement.
The robotics club at a Haifa high school has teamed up with engineers at the world-class Technion-Israeli Institute of Technology and developed a robot that will help medical workers keep their distance from coronavirus-infected patients.
Dubbed the “COROBOT,” the remote control service trolley allows medicine and food to be delivered to patients without another person present, driving right up to the patient’s bed and complete with a computer tablet to allow two-way communication. The robot was tested last week, showing officials at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center how it can be also be used to carry equipment to the coronavirus isolation ward to the protective rooms. Like with a remote control car, an operator uses a radio control device to steer the robot. As of last week, almost 3,000 medical staff at Israel’s hospitals were in mandatory isolation after being exposed to somebody carrying the coronavirus. That total included 631 doctors, 1,023 nurses and 1,220 other medical staff, including lab technicians, orderlies and others. Although the country has tens of thousands of medical workers, health officials are worried that continued exposure to infected patients will put too many people into protective quarantine. The head of Rambam, Dr. Michael Halberthal, mentioned the problem of protecting staff from infection as they perform routine tasks during a meeting with colleague Dr. Rafi Beyar, a former director of the hospital and a professor of biomedical engineering at the Technion, Israel’s equivalent of MIT, Walla! News reported. Beyar suggested offering the challenge to the Galaxia robotics program at Haifa’s Reali High School, where students are mentored by Technion engineers. “Rambam requested we help them reduce the danger to their medical teams who are working in coronavirus departments by using a robot that could replaced a team member to perform simple tasks like bringing medicine, food and medical equipment,” said Technion Professor Gil Yudilevitch, who knew that the high school’s robotics team participated in several robot competitions and had a core group of bright and capable students. The students realized they needed something sturdy, maneuverable, bottom-heavy and able to get in between hospital beds. The prototype was demonstrated at the hospital, where “the doctors fell in love with the robot and wanted to continue working with it,” Yudilevitch said. The high school robotics program “is a team that can program very quickly and make it happen very quickly,” said the group’s supervisor, Tirza Hochberg. “If there is the need, we can produce several dozens of these robots in Israel.”
Six critically ill coronavirus patients in
Israel who are considered high-risk for mortality have been treated with
Pluristem’s placenta-based cell-therapy product and survived, according to
preliminary data provided by the Haifa-based company.
The patients were treated at three different Israeli medical
centers for one week under the country’s compassionate use program and were
suffering from acute respiratory failure and inflammatory complications
associated with COVID-19. Four of the patients also demonstrated failure of
other organ systems, including cardiovascular and kidney failure.
Not only have all the patients survived, according to
Pluristem, but four of them showed improvement in respiratory parameters and
three of them are in the advanced stages of weaning from ventilators. Moreover,
two of the patients with preexisting medical conditions are showing clinical
recovery in addition to the respiratory improvement.
“We are pleased with this initial outcome of the
compassionate use program and committed to harnessing PLX cells for the benefit
of patients and healthcare systems,” said Pluristem CEO and president. “Pluristem is dedicated to using its competitive advantages in
large-scale manufacturing to potentially deliver PLX cells to a large number of
patients in significant need.”
Pluristem’s PLX cells are “allogeneic mesenchymal-like cells
that have immunomodulatory properties,” meaning they induce the immune system’s
natural regulatory T cells and M2 macrophages, the company explained in a
previous release. The result could be the reversal of dangerous overactivation
of the immune system. This would likely reduce the fatal symptoms of pneumonia
and pneumonitis (general inflammation of lung tissue).
Previous preclinical findings regarding PLX cells revealed
significant therapeutic effects in animal studies of pulmonary hypertension,
lung fibrosis, acute kidney injury and gastrointestinal injury.
Pluristem plans to apply for initiation of a multinational
clinical trial for the treatment of complications associated with coronavirus,
the release said, noting that it will no longer report on its compassionate use
trials but rather on the status and progress of its contemplated clinical
The company is already in discussions with regulators in
States and Europe to “define our clinical strategy for COVID-19,”
Pluristem CEO added.
In fact, medicine and surgical equipment
has been flowing into Gaza.
around the world countries closed borders, Israel kept the border to Gaza open. COGAT published its information in an easy to read format.
In case the small print is hard to read, 145 tons of medical supplies were sent into Gaza by way of Kerem
Shalom Crossing last
week. Yet Israel haters have not ceased their campaign of
lies against Israel. What they should be questioning is where all the
tons and tonnes of materials go.
of eggs arriving in Israel to replenish critical Passover staple
The government announced last week that it will subsidize
the import of eggs, which have been missing from most supermarkets for
the last two weeks.
Israelis will hopefully heave a sigh of relief before
Passover as millions of eggs arrived in Ashdod Port Sunday from Spain and other
ships and planes are on their way with tens of millions more.
The government announced last week that it will subsidize
the import of this basic food staple, which has been missing from most
supermarkets for the last two weeks in the run-up to the week-long holiday that
begins Wednesday night.
The Agriculture Ministry said that it has requested that shipping
companies change their routes for faster delivery and load double the number of
eggs they would usually carry in their refrigerated containers.
The Finance Ministry also agreed to allocate a special
budget to bring in eggs in an unprecedented, and more expensive, way — via
cargo planes — due to the extreme need. According to the Israel Financial
Insider site, 20 million eggs are expected to arrive by air from several
European countries in the coming days. Besides Spain, other possible sources
are the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Portugal, said the report.
Egg consumption in Israel shoots up 20 percent for Passover,
as families embark on a whirlwind of baking, frying and cooking the special
foods which are traditionally eaten just this one time of year. It is probably
the second-most necessary item in the Passover pantry after unleavened bread,
Stories have abounded in social media of what has been
taking place due to consumer desperation as the holiday approaches, such as
stores that have eggs raising their prices, or conditioning their purchase on
the customer spending NIS 50 or more on other items.
Tips are also being posted on how to get eggs on the black
market, from sources that are not under the supervision of the proper
authorities. This could lead to an additional health concern and add to the
burden of a health-care system already struggling with thousands of cases of
the coronavirus pandemic.
The Festival of Pesach
(Passover), which we celebrate in three days time, is highly symbolized by
food. Throughout the eight days of the Festival, matzah (unleavened
bread) is eaten instead of ordinary bread, to recall the hurried baking
of matzah during the Exodus itself.
On the last night in
Egypt each Jewish household ritually slaughtered a lamb and then ate it at a
family gathering. This banquet – reverent in purpose and joyful in practice –
has been perpetuated through the ages in the Pesach `Seder` ceremony,
celebrated on Pesach eve.
To set the Seder Table
for the ceremonies, the following will be arranged on a special Seder plate:
Bitter herbs - in memory of the `bitterness` of slavery in Egypt; a sweet paste
made of apples, and nuts mixed with a little wine – to soften the bitterness
and simulate the `mortar` used by our ancestors in building for the Egyptians;
a bone with a little meat roasted - in memory of the ancient Temple sacrifice;
a baked egg - a symbol of mourning for the lost Temple; lettuce or celery
dipped in salt water - the hors d’oeuvres leading directly to the meal.
means `programme`, which indicates that the ceremonies accompanying the recital
of a small book called the `Haggadah`, are carefully prescribed. The `Haggadah`
is a free-wheeling exposition of the ancient Exodus from Egypt, in a style
which can includes ethics, history, folklore, anecdote, songs - and any kind of
speculation, serious or light-hearted, which can be spun out of the verses of
Bringing together all
these elements within the bounds of a small book, expresses a
uniquely Jewish attitude to life – a seriousness that can break into a smile, a
reverence that doesn’t have to be pompous, a sense of tragedy that never leads
to cynicism and despair, and an empathy for suffering that transforms itself
constantly through courage and hope. The Seder is the most universally observed
and, therefore, the most unifying of all Jewish ceremonies.
Almost every year, the
Haggadah has been presented afresh with endless commentary and illustrations.
There are more versions of the Haggadah than any other published book. The
miracle of Jewish re-birth in our times is that, if new
dimensions of experience have been added, nothing sacred to the tradition has
been taken away.
In the words of Rabbi
Jonathan Sacks: “Pesach contains a message of hope for all of us. Each year we
tell the story of the exodus, that begins in suffering and ends in liberation
and joy. That is the shape of the human story. Out of the bad, comes good, out of
the curse comes blessing”.
hope and pray that, out of the coronavirus pandemic, people will be revitalised
with a sense of renewal and collective responsibility.
This is an absolute disgrace! He uses millions of dollars of
international aid to murder Israelis instead of helping his own citizens and
now he threatens Israel? And where is the media!
Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar threatened Israel saying “if
ventilators are not brought into Gaza then we will take them by force from
Israel and stop the breathing of over 6 million Israelis”
This is the same Yahya Sinwar who said “we will take down the
Israeli border and tear out their hearts from their bodies”
Ironically, The Hamas terror organization that Sinwar heads is
also responsible for spending tens of millions of dollars, of international
aid, on a whole network of terror tunnels infiltrating Israel that include
sophisticated ventilation systems with oxygen tanks!
Imagine if they’d use that international aid to help their
people in Gaza instead.
Some Mainstream media outlets have used the coronavirus to
remind people that Gaza has been on corona-like lockdown for 14 years. Reuters
shared a tweet from Gaza actually saying that.
While media outlets around the world publish this blood libel
making it look as if ISRAEL is responsible for the situation in Gaza, including
the Gazans sick with corona, how many of them will publish the truth about
Hamas’ responsibility for the sorry state of their medical facilities and their
sick? And how many will actually give some balanced reporting asking why donor
countries around the world have been silent about Hamas’ decades of abuse of
Israel is willing to help anyone and every entity to save lives,
even our enemies! Always. That is the true Israel you hear about from us,
ignored by mainstream media. Be inspired by the trut, be inspired by Israel and
the Jewish people!
Photos uploaded on Tuesday to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf’s
official Facebook page showed them conducting unauthorized digs on the Temple
“Despite the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Haram esh-Sharif
due to coronavirus, the staff, workers and guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque are
continuing their hard work,” wrote the Jordanian-backed Wakf which administers
the Temple Mount.
The Arab Desk of the pro-Israel watchdog group Im Tirtzu,
which first reported the unauthorized digs, accused the Waqf of taking advantage
of the closure to perform the illegal digs that are aimed at “destroying Jewish
artifacts and history.”
The holy site was closed last week to stem the spread of the
novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Due to the highly sensitive nature of the Temple Mount, all
digs must be approved by both the Waqf and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Despite this, the Waqf has a long history of conducting
illegal digs, most notably in 1999 when they disposed of over 9,000 tons of
dirt mixed with invaluable archaeological artifacts that are now being salvaged
by The Temple Mount Sifting Project.
The Students for the Temple Mount organization which
promotes religious equality and freedom on the Temple Mount, also blasted the
“The fact that the Waqf had the gall to publicly publish
pictures of this illegal digging just emphasizes Israel’s lack of sovereignty
on the Temple Mount,” said the organization.
Tom Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk noted that “what
is even more disturbing are the things that the Waqf doesn’t make public.”
“The time has come for Israel to once and for all assert its
sovereignty over the Temple Mount. It’s absurd that the Temple Mount –
Judaism’s holiest site – is the only place in the Western World where Jews
“The longer the Temple Mount stays closed, the greater the
chances are that the Waqf will destroy more Jewish history,” Nisani cautioned.